Wednesday of week 20

Judges 9:6-15; Psalm 20(21):2-7; Matthew 20:1-16

The brief extract from Judges today is no more than a taunt by a victorious king over his defeated enemies. But it is somewhat satirical - how could a low bushy thorn possibly place the tall cedars of lebanon in its shade? So it proves to be, as the cycle of fidelity to rebellion to punishment to conversion to rescue  continues through this weeks readings from Judges.

The rather better known story from Mark's Gospel, about the camel and the eye of the needle, has often been justified by the presence of narrow gateways through the old walls of Jerusalem: all you have to do is remove the burden of the camel's goods to get her in the city. The absurdity of the idea of squeezing a camel through the space fit for a thread, is what is needed - that is how hard it really is for a person obsessed by their possessions to get into heaven.

Both stories use hyperbole - deliberate use of exaggeration to make a key point stick in our memory. The more bizarre the image, the better it works for that purpose.

Posted in Daily Reflection.